Blast destroyed two families, inquest told

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Horrific details of the deaths of members of two local families in the Omagh bombing were given at the inquest in Co Tyrone yesterday.

Horrific details of the deaths of members of two local families in the Omagh bombing were given at the inquest in Co Tyrone yesterday.

A grandmother, mother with unborn twins and a baby girl from one family, and a father and son from another family, were among the 29 people who died in the massive blast, the worst single episode of terrorist violence in the Northern Ireland conflict.

Army doctor Captain Samuel Potter gave a graphic account of the carnage he found. He told the coroner, John Leckey, he uncovered the body of 18-month-old Maura Monaghan lying under her pregnant mother, Avril.

The captain said: "I turned the body of the mother over and found the baby. That was something I will never forget. It is totally burnt into my memory for ever. It was so shocking the medic who was with me collapsed."

Captain Potter told the court that the mother and child were found on the street outside the remains of SD Kells' drapery shop, where the body of Mrs Monaghan's mother, Mary Grimes, 65, was later found.

Father and son Fred White, 65, and Bryan White, 27, were among the victims closest to the bomb when it exploded. They were last seen alive leaving the nearby Salad Bowl fruit and vegetable shop together on Market Street, just before the Real IRA 500lb car bomb ripped through the crowded street.

The inquest, in Omagh Leisure Centre, was told that the loss of a son and husband for Edith White had been "devastating" and was still as keenly felt today as on the day of their murder two years ago.

Mary-Jane Frew, who owned the Salad Bowl, told how customers, including the two Mr Whites, kept coming into the shop on the afternoon of 15 August 1998 despite the bomb scare leading up to the blast.

The inquest continues.

Comments